Story telling project a tale of success

Posted: 06/04/2015 | Education,

With the merger of the Royal Blind School’s two campuses earlier last year, the school recognised a need for additional support to be given to pupils during that time of relocation and integration.

The Royal Blind School is a centre of excellence for visually impaired children who also often have other complex disabilities and The Story Telling project was created to support the pupils through the campus merger by means of storytelling.Image of pupil during Story Telling Project

A storyteller developed personalised stories and performances for individual pupils through sensory techniques including touch and sound. These stories helped prepare the pupils for the move, and the possible noise and upheaval, with titles such as ‘We’re Moving!’ and ‘The Building Story’.

Pupils were encouraged to join in with the storytelling to make it more personal for them and perform their own individual journey. Feedback was very positive with one pupil commenting:

"I loved Ailie's (the storyteller) stories, they were fun and made me think about what was happening after the summer.”

Another loved re-telling their own story:

"I liked thinking about our new school. Now I like it and still like to tell the stories about it."

By making the relocation a topic in its own right it became easier for staff at the school to discuss and address the children's worries which helped reduce the amount of distress and upset they experienced. Staff would borrow the stories over the lunch break so they permeated the whole curriculum.

The storytelling project began in October 2013 and was initially planned to end in October 2014 but thanks to its success the school decided to keep it running. The decision was made as the pupils’ love for the sensory project continued to grow and it was recognised that ongoing support would be beneficial as the pupils continue to settle into their new surroundings in Canaan Lane.